Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In the first part of the reading from Isaiah, God relays a challenge of what it means to more fully live in his love. By only not lowering oneself to the levels of profanity, violence, and oppression, we are merely following the rules. To truly live in the grace of God, we are called to go the extra mile, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked: to actively be men and women for others. And when we show love and give strength to others, we ourselves are renewed with new strength and new love. Try holding the door open for the person behind you or even just smiling to a passing stranger.
The second part of the reading talks all about the Sabbath. Respecting the Sabbath is something that many people have lost, myself included. Keeping that day holy does not just mean going to Mass, but it means to really take it as a day of rest and connection with God. As much as possible, we shouldn’t save all of our homework or grading for Sunday evening. This week, I challenge us to really take the Sabbath as a day of rest. Instead of working feverishly, spend that time with loved ones, maybe going for a walk or just having a deep conversation.
– Matt Friedrichs and John Marshall are members of the Freshman Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High
Holy God, I open my heart to you. Send your grace deep into my soul.
Strengthen my spirit these holy days of grace.
Help me to walk with Jesus towards Calvary and then to Easter. Amen
—the Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!